Tag Archives: RealD

Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 3 September 2014

Barco Escape

The Hollywood Reporter has a special issue looking at ‘The Future of Film‘, which to a large extent is also about the future of cinema. Lots of rich pickings, including Carolyn Giardina looking at Barco’s three-screen Escape and what lies beyond it.

Movie screens will continue to morph into ever-wider configurations as well, predicts The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, a German research firm. “There will be more panorama screens; it’s already happening in Germany,” says Siegfried Foessel, who oversees the company’s moving-picture technologies department, which is developing a 360-degree camera system that was used to shoot the final of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. That footage will be shown in a special 360-degree OmniCam theater installation planned for the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich. Meanwhile, startup Jaunt is developing a 360-degree camera for use in virtual reality.

High-tech interactivity also may play a role in the next generation of theaters. Avatron Development USA is creating special venues, comprised of high-tech attractions, that could begin arriving in cities across the country as early as 2017. They would include a theater where a 3D movie is projected onto a 360-degree dome-shaped screen and real-time facial replacement would be used to project audience members into the action.  LINK

Have Faith in Popcorn

Elsewhere in the issue four ‘experts’ are asked where moviegoing will be ten years hence. The wonderfully out-there Faith Popcorn is the one we can resist quoting.

Movie theaters are dying. As consumers hide out in their at-home binge-cocoons, devouring entire seasons of HBO and Netflix programming, theater owners will partner with hotels to create binge retreats. These will be fab private dens you can rent for a few hours or days to binge-watch whatever you like. It’ll be all about decadence: Food will be catered and gourmet. Mixologists, masseuses and manicurists will be on-call. People will be unplugging from home and work, and plugging in to entertainment, fantasy and luxury.

In the future, fantasy adventure (our craving for exotic experiences) and technology will demolish the old-school movie screen. We’ll have completely immersive experiences. In a decade, Imax and even Oculus Rift experiences will seem as outdated as a Walkman.  LINK

Switch to MasterImage

China (PRC) – As if RealD wasn’t having a bad enough week with Vue announcing that it was switching to Sony Digital Cinema 3D (see yesterday’s Daily), its Asian 3D nemesis MasterImage is now coming for them all legal patent guns blazing.

MasterImage 3D, a worldwide leader in 3D display technologies for digital cinema, took action to challenge the validity of RealD’s utility model (UM) patent in China, filing an invalidation before the State Intellectual Property Office on August 22, 2014. MasterImage 3D specifically argues that RealD’s utility model patent blatantly lacks novelty over MasterImage 3D’s earlier filed patent applications and over RealD’s older patents disclosed several years prior in the United States.

MasterImage 3D concluded that RealD’s utility model patent filed in China is not valid and lacks inventiveness. This UM application was only successfully granted because Chinese UM patents lack substantive examination.  LINK

 

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Tuesday 2 September 2014

Sony Vue

Is Vue ditching RealD? The exhibitor is switching almost 400 of its screens across the UK, Ireland, Germany and Denmark to Sony Digital Cinema 3D projectors. While the press release doesn’t say it, this is a significant departure for Vue, which has exclusively been using RealD’s 3D technology and is now expanding using the non-licence and non-proprietary Sony 3D solution that Sony previously only offered in non-RealD territories. RealD won’t be happy about this.

The phased conversion process is scheduled to start in September this year. It will extend over a three to four year time period, covering a total of 394 screens across the group’s Vue and CinemaxX branded European estate.

Unlike ‘triple-flash’ systems that rapidly present different images to each eye in turn, the Sony Digital Cinema 3D dual lens solution provides smooth, immersive flicker-free 3D images without distracting flashing effects. Whether audiences are watching in 3D or 2D, Sony’s unique 4K projection technology assures an unparalleled viewing experience, with market-leading contrast levels plus exceptional colour and clarity.

Vue Entertainment International currently deploys a mix of Sony 4K projection systems across its estate, including the flagship R320 and its acclaimed sibling, the R515 that’s optimised for medium-sized and smaller screens.  LINK

 Secret Cinema goes LA Back to the future

After the success of the Back to the Future screenings in London (aside from the botched launch), Secret Cinema is going to bring Hill Valley back to its ancestral and spiritual home – Los Angeles – as part of its launch in the US next year.

Secret Cinema is planning to take its hit production of Back to the Future to Los Angeles, marketing the 30th anniversary of the film’s release.

The immersive cinema company, which builds live events around the screening of films, plans to stage the production in LA next summer. It will follow Secret Cinema’s launch in the US in early 2015 with its Tell No One strand, which keeps the audience guessing the identity of the film until they arrive on the night.

Secret Cinema revealed its plans following the end of a month-long run of Back to the Future, staged at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London from July 31 to Aug 31.  LINK

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 20 August 2014

AMC Imax

AMC and Imax have signed a deal to deepen their business ties. What this signifies is that AMC and Wanda Cinemas, while technically different companies (though with shared ownership) are increasingly becoming indistinguishable with regards to cinema business policies. I bet they even buy popcorn kernels from the same vendor, even if they don’t put out press releases about it.

IMAX Corporation IMAX, +2.03% (IMX) and AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. AMC, +1.43% today announced an expansion of the companies’ existing joint revenue sharing arrangement with the addition of 11 IMAX® theatres. The theatres, which will carry 13-year lease terms from the date of installation, are expected to be installed in 2015 in cities that include Chicago, New York, Newark and Phoenix. Today’s agreement brings AMC’s total IMAX commitment to 159 theatres and reinforces its position as the largest IMAX exhibitor in North America.  LINK

Rakesh Kumar CBFC

India’s much reviled Chief Censor has been indicted for corruption. You couldn’t make this up, but it highlights what a rotten mess Indian bureaucracy is when a ‘babu’ with a railway background (!) is put in charge of a body like the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). It is worth remembering what a let’s-clean-up-this-cinematic-filth-style moralist Kumar was when he was first appointed to the job.

The CBI arrested Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) CEO Rakesh Kumar in an alleged bribery case on Monday.

Last week the CBI had registered a case against Kumar and also arrested an authorized censor agent and an advisory panel member of the CBFC for demanding a Rs 70,000 bribe on the behalf of the CEO to urgently clear a film from Chhattisgarh.

The CBI had conducted search on Kumar’s residence last week and had recovered Rs 10.50 lacks cash, gold jewellery and property documents.  LINK

Read More »

Quarterly Results: RealD (Good) and NCM (Not)

RealD logo

We are coming to the end of the current season of quarterly financial results, with RealD and National CineMedia, Inc announcing their respective Q1 2015 and Q2 2014 results. One is good and the other one not so good.

Starting with 3D technology licensing company RealD, the figures should please investors, with a 43% EBITDA year-on-year growth and net income of over USD 5 million. The press release gives the details:

Total revenue was $55.4 million, comprised of license revenue of $36.0 million and product and other revenue of $19.4 million. For the first quarter of fiscal 2014, total revenue was $59.2 million, comprised of license revenue of $37.3 million and product and other revenue of $21.9 million.

China license revenue represented 14% of total worldwide license revenue, up from 8% in the first fiscal quarter of 2014.

GAAP net income attributable to common stockholders was $5.5 million, or $0.10 per share, compared to GAAP net loss attributable to common stockholders of $1.5 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2014.

The key metrics are interesting in terms of showing RealD weathering a slowdown in North America, both in terms of deployment and box office, with growth in emerging markets more than compensating and in some cases overtaking US/Canada numbers.

  • Estimated box office generated on RealD-enabled screens(1) for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 was $787 million ($387 million domestic, $400 million international). In the first quarter of fiscal 2014, estimated box office generated on RealD-enabled screens was $838 million ($431 million domestic, $407 million international).
  • Ten 3D films were released in the first quarter of fiscal 2015, compared to eight 3D films in the first quarter of fiscal 2014. These figures reflect the number of 3D films released domestically during the periods.
  • International markets generated 63% of license revenue and 34% of product and other revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2015.
  • As of June 30, 2014, RealD had deployed approximately 25,600 RealD-enabled screens, an increase of 9% from approximately 23,500 screens as of June 30, 2013, and an increase of 400 screens (50 domestic, 350 international), or 2%, from approximately 25,200 screens as of March 31, 2014.
  • As of June 30, 2014, RealD had approximately 13,450 domestic screens at approximately 3,000 domestic theater locations and approximately 12,150 international screens at approximately 3,000 international theater locations.

In the earnings call (transcript by Seeking Alpha, as always) CEO Michael V. Lewis pointed to a 20% cost reduction and significant growth in China, Russia and Latin America as keys to the company’s success in this quarter.

Read More »

CineEurope 2014: The Future of Big Screen

The Future of Big Screen Panel at CineEurope 2014

Next panel-ette starts a bit early with IHS’s David Hancock saying he will try to “keep it short, sharp and punchy.” RealD and IMAX in the ring with him.  Here are some of the highlights from the panel discussion as submitted live via iPhone:

“How do you define large screen?” asks Hancock. Andrew Cripps of Imax cites Los Angeles Times article that reported that premium large format (PLF) screens are 20% larger than regular size movie screen but says in IMAX “a lot of other elements go into it.” RealD’s Bob Mayson notes irony of discussing big screen in a very small conference room. [Indeed].

Luxe is an Eastern Europe/Russia focused initiative. Mayson told me earlier that they announced in a recent investor call that they now have 22 PLF screens committed of which at least half should be in place before the end of this year.

Cripps talks about working with film makers and the ‘total experience’. Hancock asks what drives it. Mayson says premium ticket prices and the ‘thirst for a better experience, particularly when there is so much competition for the consumer’s dollars.’ He points out that when he was at Kodak he sold a LOT of film to IMAX. [that was before Cripps joined].

Cripps agrees with Mayson on the premium price/experience. Makes an analogy with Starbucks coffee. Hancock asks if smaller 2D screens are under threat. Mayson mentions small VIP seating, but acknowledges that’s not today’s topic.

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 12 June 2014

RealD CineEurope 2014

We’ve featured MasterImage, DepthQ and Volfoni, but the 3D presentations at this year’s CineEurope will be courtesy of RealD.

Exhibiting from the grand CCIB Auditorium, RealD will be at the very heart of the proceedings using our innovative 2D and 3D-optimised Precision White Screen (PWS). Benefiting from extra wide viewing angles and brighter edges, RealD ensures an unprecedented quality of image for this year’s best upcoming releases.

Experience the future with us in in Barcelona. We look forward to seeing you there. Discover more in room M213.

Sony CineEurope

As if we weren’t tempted enough by the ECA Lounge or the Coca-Cola bar at CineEurope, who can resist this tempting invite from Sony?

Unwind and relax in our chill out zone on the first floor at CineEurope 2014 from 16-19 June in Barcelona.

Relax on our sofas, charge your phone with our power outlets and play with the latest 4K tech.

Click here for more information

Only a few more days to go now until CineEurope 2014 kicks off in Barcelona. See you there.

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 6 June 2014

children in cinema

“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it,” Mark Twain once said. Is the same true for declining cinema youth attendance? Not in France, which is making sure that the next generation values and keeps the ’7th Art’ alive in cinemas.

To overcome this drop and respond quickly to the first problem, exhibitors have at the beginning of the year set a single price of 4 euros for children under the age of 14. The operation caused some gnashing of teeth from the distributors, who have seen their revenues decline. It nevertheless proved a success, and contributes greatly to the revival of attendance in the last six months.

More fundamentally, the education aspect of cinema is subject to multiple touches. A report commissioned by the CNC has been finalized. Directed by Xavier Lardoux, Deputy Director General of Unifrance (Support Association of French cinema export), he advocates through 10 measures, the establishment of a genuine European policy for film education.

The author of the report considers educating young audiences about the 7 th art to be both a political and an economic necessity. “When we see a French child spends more time in front of a screen, whatever it is, at school, and that children are facing more and more young people in these screens, learning how to watch should be taught earlier. As for the economic aspect, it is about creating the spectators of tomorrow for European cinema, which is a major industry,” Xavier Lardoux said.  LINK

Cocteau cinema Game of Thrones

Calling the theatrical platform ‘the largest pay-per-view platform in the world’, Cinemark’s CEO Tim Warner calls for big shows like HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and episodes of “The Voice” to be shown in cinemas. Give the success of TV events like “Dr Who: The Day of the Doctors” even in the US, it would be more surprising if he didn’t call for cinemas to have access to such premium content.

“‘Game of Thrones’ on the big screen would be so exciting,” Warner said. “It’s not that you can’t go to the bar and watch this stuff, but you can’t have that premium experience.”

However, studios may need to become more collaborative. Structurally, media conglomerates tend to run their television and film arms separately without allowing for much overlap.

“They’re going to have break down that barrier within the studios, so that all the content providers take a look at whatever content they’re doing and say, ‘Should this be going into this platform?’” Warner said.  LINK

If nothing else, it gives credence to Quentin Tarantino’s recent rant that “Digital projection, that’s just television in public.” And “Game of Thrones” did screen in one particular cinema.

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Wednesday 14 May 2014

Tim League

An in-depth interview with Tim League, founder and CEO of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a true pioneer in the American exhibition industry. Very disarming and insightful.

How did the dining experience while watching a movie come about?
There was a theater in Portland [Ore.]that did beer and food service in the theater, and we really liked it. … So, yeah we completely blatantly ripped it off from another theater.

Why do you think the cinema eatery concept has been so popular?
Traditional movie concessions work for a certain group—sometimes you want a Coke and a popcorn. But our audience is a little older just by the nature of what we do, and so it’s a great date experience where you can compress eating and going to a movie into two hours and minimize the babysitting time.

How did you start the whole concept of making themed nights in which the food reflects the movie?
I think that just comes with me being a movie fan, and I like to throw events and parties. So it just seemed a natural fit. … The idea of making the experience special and offering people something they can’t get anywhere else was very early on part of our marketing strategy to build loyalty.  LINK

 

RealD

Italy – RealD has signed a deal with Italian exhibitor The Space Cinema to increase the latter’s 3D screens by 40%.

RealD Inc. (NYSE: RLD) and leading Italian theatrical exhibitor, THE SPACE CINEMA, announced today an extended agreement to install an additional 40 RealD 3D Cinema Systems at THE SPACE CINEMA locations throughout Italy. When combined with the approximately 100 RealD 3D equipped THE SPACE CINEMA auditoriums today, the number of RealD 3D installations across THE SPACE CINEMA locations will be in total more than 140. New RealD Cinema System installations have begun and are expected to be completed by this summer.  LINK

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Friday 9 May 2014

The Cinema Theatre in Rochester goes digital

This small-single screen is one of the last in its area to make the switch to digital. So why aren’t we filing it away further down? Because the area is Rochester, home of Eastman Kodak, aka the Company That Digital Nearly Killed.

The Cinema’s swap this week from film to digital projection marks one of the last area theaters to make that switch. Rochester’s Little Theatre converted to digital last year, as did Avon’s Vintage Drive In. The George Eastman House’s Dryden Theatre added a digital projector last year. Rochester Theater Management — which operates movie theaters in Brockport, Geneseo and Canandaigua — did not return a message seeking comment. But according to its website, all three movie houses also have converted to digital.

And according to the Digital Cinema Implementation Partnership — owned jointly by movie chain giants AMC Entertainment Inc., Cienmark USA Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group — Cinemark’s multiplexes in Gates and Brighton; Regal’s in Henrietta, Greece and Irondequoit; and AMC’s in Webster all have made the digital switch.

As you would expect from the newspaper of industry town hard hit by digital, the article gives a lot of details about the digital switchover. It notes that in the most recent quarter “Kodak’s Graphics, Entertainment & Commercial Films business were down 18 percent from a year ago, with most of that decline due to sliding sales of motion picture film.”

Despite a successful Indiegogo campaign to help buy a new projector the cinema’s manager doesn’t see an upside to digital, just the ability to going back to showing films the same way they were able to 2-3 years ago before prints started drying up. Only now they have to charge USD $1 for each ticket. “It doesn’t increase business one little bit,” he said. “This thing is strictly a cost of doing business.”

Cinema ticket price comparison map

This is a fun and interesting piece of infographics derived from numbeo.com about which countries have the most expensive and cheapest cinema tickets. The most expensive countries, where tickets cost on average more than the equivalent of USD $17.50 are Japan, Switzerland, Norway and Angola, which similarly to Norway is seeing prices pushed up too much by oil finds. (Saudi Arabia is strangely also included in this group, which is peculiar given that the Kingdom officially has no cinemas.)

The cheapest countries are Cuba, Haiti, Guyana, Lesotho, Laos, Iran and Turkmenistan, some of which are perhaps better known internationally for their films than their cinemas. Amazingly Australia falls outside the top tier of expensive cinemas, but probably only just, give the recent controversies about ticket prices.  The full size map can be found here.

Read More »

Daily Cinema Digest – Thursday 8 May 2014

Wanda Cinema CBD

RealD and Wanda Cinemas have launched a 3D Brightness certification scheme that will ensure that participating screens will be displaying at least 6footLamberts (6FL) of brightness. There is a fear that dim 3D images could soon lead to a similar 3D backlash that has already been experienced in the US. It is calculated that running a 6kW compared to a 3kW bulb will cost 30,000 yuan (USD $4,800) more per year, which is why tickets to these auditoriums will be at a higher premium. Perhaps an idea to export to the West.

This theater standard will come at a higher cost. However, improved viewing experience has become a major pursuit of cinemas. Thus, Wanda Cinema Beijing CBD  became the first cinema hall in Asian with 6FL certification auditoriums. It is reported that this certification means that the auditorium will always show image brightness of 6FL for all 3D movies, with 3D brightness regularly monitored. For tickets the price will be slightly higher than non-certified cinema screen, and will be particularly marketed as such by Wanda Cinema on the ticket.  LINK

Cineworld Logo

UK: Cineworld had a good Q1 but expect cinema attendance to slump during the World Cup – until England gets eliminated in the second round, that is.

Hits including The Lego Movie, The Wolf of Wall Street and 12 Years a Slave helped Cineworld increase its share of UK box office takings from 26.9% to 27.6% in the first four months of the year, as the group pushed up ticket prices almost 5%, against a 1.9% rise in admissions. Cinema goers have been more willing to spend on popcorn and fizzy drinks, and now Starbucks coffee, as retail revenue rose 6.1% on last year.

Revenue growth of 7% at home was beaten in Eastern Europe and Israel after the £500 million acquisition of Cinema City International this year. LINK

Read More »